Employee Assessments: Is More Always Better?

Posted by  Alissa Parr, Ph.D.

selecting-employees.jpgOne of the first things we do when engaging with new clients is to discuss the hiring process and determine what steps to include in their hiring process. In order to get a complete picture of a candidate, we often include several different stages and assessments. For example, we might include an initial application, an in-depth online assessment, a work sample exercise, and an interview as part of the process. Pulling together all of this information, we can see how the candidate performs on important competencies in different types of assessment methods.

When determining which steps are most appropriate for the position and the organization, clients often ask, is more always better? Does having more stages in the process provide a greater return on investment? The answer is … it depends. In answering this question, we often look at incremental validity. Before talking specifically about incremental validity, let me provide a refresher on what validity is.


4 Best Practices to Designing an Effective Hiring Process

Posted by  Tracey Tafero, Ph.D.

hiring_process.jpgAre you looking for that one answer- what is the “right” way to design an employee hiring process? Well, there isn’t necessarily one “right” way, as the best hiring process for a given position will depend on a number of different aspects related to that specific position, your hiring needs, and the available labor pool. However, there are a number of best practices that apply across the board:


Do You Really Need to Customize an Employee Assessment?

Posted by  John Fernandez, Ph.D.

question.jpgMany organizational stakeholders often assume that a highly customized test containing items written specifically for their company is the only viable solution to their assessment needs. They may believe this even when there are some very good off-the-shelf solutions that would cost much less and be just as effective, if not more effective, in predicting job success.

This can occur for a number of reasons. One reason stems from the belief that the target role is more unique in the capabilities needed for success than it actually is. A good example of this is first or second line people manager roles. Across many different industries and business units, early career people managers tend to struggle with the same issues: coaching and delegating effectively, managing performance, developing talent, etc.


Why You Should NOT Use Social Media to Make Hiring Decisions

Posted by  Amie Lawrence, Ph.D.

social-media-networks.jpgI keep seeing articles about how information from individuals’ social media posts can be helpful in making hiring decisions. Every time I see it, I cringe a little and wanted to share my reasons why. Let’s talk about the most common way that social media is used in the selection process - hiring managers peruse social media pages of candidates looking for any kind of information or behavior that could lead them to conclude that their candidate would be a poor hire.

A survey by states that 51% of the employers surveyed found information on social media that caused them to NOT hire a candidate. The article lists reasons ranging from posting provocative photos and drinking/drug use, to a general unprofessional image. On the surface, these might sound like good reasons to pass over a candidate, but let’s look at how this fits into selection best practices.


3 Common Errors Hiring Managers Make When Using Employee Assessments

Posted by  John Fernandez, Ph.D.

errorAs an assessment consultant, I could go on and on about the value of using rigorous assessment tools for selecting better talent into an organization, as well as for developing employees as part of a talent management strategy. There are plenty of data to suggest that well designed assessment tools deliver a competitive edge and provide companies a very significant return on investment.

However, what often gets overlooked when implementing assessment tools is making hiring managers aware of some of the common situations in which they can be used improperly. Below are 3 common errors made when using assessment tools that highlight such situations, followed by a discussion with some specific examples.


Four Risks to Avoid When Evaluating Pre-Employment Assessments

Posted by  John Fernandez, Ph.D.

evaluateAny company that decides to start using a pre-hire assessment tool to screen external job candidates should do their due diligence when choosing a new test. The ultimate goal should be finding an assessment that will help the company raise the bar on the talent selected into the organization for the target position. This process includes reviewing any available validation evidence for the test, and ensuring a thorough job analysis is completed prior to implementing it.

However, sometimes companies devise alternative means for vetting a new test that can lead to inaccurate or uninformed interpretations of its effectiveness. One such example is when stakeholders want to see how well the test works at identifying the top current employees. In other words, they want to have some employees take the test to find out if the best ones score the highest, and the worst ones score the lowest. If test results indeed show these patterns, then the test is deemed to be effective. However, if top performers do poorly and/or poor performers do well, then they believe the test will not work effectively at their company, no matter how good the validation evidence may be.


A Validated Assessment is Like a Life Insurance Policy

Posted by  Brian Dishman

153437909Several weeks ago I had a meeting with a group of hiring managers for a large manufacturing organization. Their company’s leadership had made the decision to implement a screening tool into their entry-level hiring process. This particular selection instrument was a carefully designed employee assessment by Select International’s Research and Development team. Our team of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists developed an assessment that measures several job relevant risk factors commonly associated with a broad range of industrial jobs. These risk factors are typically found in manufacturing, construction, mining, and similar fields that require physical activity in which employee safety is an important factor.

One of my goals during this hiring manager meeting was to educate the participants on the assessment and gain their buy-in. Although their leadership had already green lit the implementation of this selection process improvement, it was important to get the commitment of the hiring managers. After all, they would be the ones tasked with implementing this change at their facilities. I shared the results of the job analysis that was completed within their organization that established the job relevancy of the factors the assessment measures. I shared with them some examples of successful outcomes from other similar companies that implemented the assessment. We reviewed some example items from the assessment. There was some healthy skepticism from some of the managers about what a person’s responses to specific items on the assessment has to do with being a good employee. 


Six Questions to Ask When Choosing an Employee Assessment Provider

Posted by  Steven Jarrett, Ph.D.

QuestionsBig data, analytics, informed decision-making are all buzz words that are taking the business world by storm. Within this movement, of more informed decision-making, more and more companies are trying to get “smarter” about how they hire their new employees. This has led to an increase in the use of assessments to make hiring decisions. As with any demand, as their usage increases, the number of assessment vendors also increases. So, how can someone new to the assessment industry differentiate the quality vendors from the opportunistic vendors? Here are some questions that you should be asking all potential vendors to help you determine which company will provide the best solution for your organization.


Can Employee Assessments be Customized?

Posted by  Amber Thomas

Yes, just like a sandwich can be made up of many delicious meats, cheeses, vegetables and condiments to suit your taste, assessments are often customized using different item scales that work together to measure job relevant competencies in the best way possible. Generally you will start with at least the basic ingredients when making a sandwich (e.g. ham, pickles, mustard), rather than creating each ingredient from scratch. You’ve had the ham before; it’s quality ham, no need to start raising heritage pigs in your back yard. Much the same way, we often use a variety of item scales (test questions that are grouped together based on a number of characteristics) that have proven to work in the past. So instead of creating a whole new set of questions each time a test is needed, we often use these gold standard item scales to create an assessment that is reliable, predictive, job relevant and suitable for the level of testing needed.185895589

It is possible to create new item scales, and entirely new assessments, but there is a lot of leg work that goes into making sure the assessment is functioning the way that it should. Work must be done to make sure the overall assessment results are predictive of performance, that the test items are not too easy or difficult, that the pass rates are acceptable and that the assessment is measuring what it intends to measure and not something else (imagine biting into your Reuben and finding only bologna!). This is most commonly accomplished through an investigation of how the assessment relates to actual job performance, otherwise known as a criterion related validation study.


Employee Assessments: What is Validation?

Posted by  Steven Jarrett, Ph.D.

176430825If you’re just getting started with employee assessments, you might have heard the term validation being used when discussing selection systems.  In the context of organizations and their use of assessments in the hiring process we are often referring to criterion-related validation. Criterion-related validation is the empirical relationship between a predictor and a criterion. Now, let’s repeat that in English. Validation will show an organization how well their selection system is able to predict future job performance. In essence, the stronger the relationship between the assessment and performance the more likely your selection system will predict successful employees. So now that we know what validation evidence is, let’s discuss some common questions around validation studies:


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